This disease can take control of your life. It’s more than just sadness–it’s strong and it’s persistent. But here are some things you might not already know:
1. Depression affects women more than men (at roughly twice the rate).
2. PMS can be more severe than you thought: PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) appears in women who experience unusually severe symptoms (sudden mood swings, change in food cravings, trouble sleeping) the week before their period.
3. There are three types of depression: Major depression is most severe and is often experienced in episodes that can occur once or several times in someone’s life. Dysthymic disorder can last up to two years, but with less intense symptoms. Minor depression is similar to the first two, but with less severe symptoms that don’t last as long.
4. Hormonal changes can trigger depression in women: Postpartum depression can happen after childbirth. Some women experience depression during their transition into menopause.
5. Depression is often experienced as anxiety.
6. Exercise may help to alleviate symptoms: Some psychologists prefer to walk around with their clients instead of traditional “couch time.”
7. A study found that girls who started puberty early are more likely to suffer from depression.
8. There is a correlation between depression and substance abuse in some cases.
9. One myth about depression is that it’s just a “normal part of aging”: If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t ignore them. Reach out to a doctor or support group.